Missoula sits at the convergence of 3 of Montana’s famous trout rivers. The Clarkfork flows right through town and heads west to Idaho. It drains Montana west of the divide and is home to some of the hardest fighting, dry fly eating rainbows, cut bows and Westslope cutthroat in America. Just east of town the Blackfoot River dumps into the Clarkfork. This river was made famous by Norman McLean in his book “A River Runs Through It” and even more famous by the movie directed by Robert Redford. The Blackfoot is a boulder-filled river with fiesty Cutthroat, Rainbows, Cutbows, and Browns. It is our most scenic river with views of canyon walls and the occasional grizzly bear. The Bitterroot river dumps into the Clarkfork on the west side of Missoula. It flows south to north through the beautiful Bitterroot Valley. This river is known for its braided nature in a wide valley. Every year its channels and braids change due to runoff. Some of our area’s biggest Brown trout swim these waters as well as rainbows, cut bows, and Westslope cutthroat.
If 3 major trout rivers aren’t enough to make you want to visit Trout Mecca Missoula, then how about adding all of the tributaries to your imagination! There are miles and miles of tributaries to all of the rivers from small mountain streams to valley meadow streams. Now we don’t talk about these tributaries names all that much and if you know anything about small streams you know that talking about them by name is blasphemy. All you have to do is look on a map, find a stream and try it out for yourself. But imagine throwing dry flies to willing Cutthroat trout all day on a stream all to yourself and all within a ½ hour to an hour from Missoula!
Not only does Trout Mecca Missoula have a serious amount of water for every one of your trout fishing wants, but our fish love DRY FLIES!!! You heard that right. We fish dry flies 90% of the time for our trout and they love them. Everything from big Salmonfly and hopper foam bugs to delicate Trico’s and BWO’s. This truly is a dry fly fisher’s paradise. All of our rivers and streams are freestone which makes our fish much more opportunistic and are willing to look up. If you’re not into dry fly fishing then Missoula will make you into one!
Not only is Missoula a Trout Mecca, but it’s a pretty amazing town too. The fly fishing culture is found throughout Missoula from downtown with fishing guides sitting in Charlie B’s, to the Kettle House Amphitheatre on the banks of the Blackfoot river. This town loves fishing and when it isn’t fishing the music, bar and restaurant scene is pretty hard to beat. Imagine having an epic day on the Bitterroot catching big fish on dries and coming back to town to catch a show at the Wilma and finishing the night off at the Dry Fly Apartments! In what other town in America can you do that all in the same day without a bunch of driving time. We’d say very few if any that are quite like Missoula! Don’t believe us? Come and see for yourself.